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Jeremy M. Lazarus

Stories by Jeremy M.

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Police Chief Will Smith orders policy review after tear-gassing of protesters

Restraint. That appears to the watchword for the Richmond Police Department that is still smarting from a June 1 incident in which officers fired tear gas and pepper-sprayed a crowd of hundreds protesting police brutality and racial injustice about 30 minutes before a city-imposed 8 p.m. curfew.

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State Supreme Court halts evictions through June 29

At least 1,349 households in Richmond and hundreds more around the state have a three-week reprieve from eviction proceedings as the state prepares to roll out a rent relief program.

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City Charter language may stymie efforts to remove Confederate statues

As demonstrations in Richmond for racial justice and against police brutality continued for the 12th day on Wednesday, all nine members of City Council already are on board for one monumental change — removal of the statues of Confederate traitors that litter Monument Avenue and other parts of the city.

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Black Lives Matter not welcome on billboards?

Is Lamar Advertising, which owns a major share of the nation’s highway billboards, preventing clients from posting signs using the phrase “Black Lives Matter”?

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City erupts

Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompts plans for reform by Mayor Stoney and Gov. Northam, including removal of Confederate statues on Monument Avenue

The statues of Confederate traitors are headed for removal from Monument Avenue — ending their long reign as white supremacist icons of Richmond that extends back to 1890.

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Thousands of protesters hit the streets

A white Minneapolis police officer’s killing of 46-year-old George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly 9 minutes was the final straw.

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Campaign mounts to purchase Woodland Cemetery

Neglected Woodland Cemetery — the final resting place of Richmond-born tennis great and humanitarian Arthur Ashe Jr. and thousands of other African-Americans — soon could have new ownership if money can be raised.

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GRTC passengers must wear face masks beginning Friday

The rides will still be free, but GRTC will require passengers to wear face masks, or nose and mouth coverings, as of Friday, May 29, to board its regular buses, vans and Pulse rapid transit.

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Richmond native Dr. Elizabeth Bouey-Yates, educator and philanthropist, dies in S.C.

Resource-starved schools in South Africa are benefiting from the work of Richmond native Dr. Elizabeth “Bettye” Bouey-Yates.

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City Council looks to ease zoning for homeless shelter locations

City Council this week took the first step toward lifting zoning restrictions that have largely limited homeless shelters to Downtown and low-income sections of the city.

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City to open Friday at a ‘slow and steady pace’

Even with the coronavirus still causing sickness and death, Richmond is finally set to reopen, though gingerly and in a limited fashion, under what the state terms Phase One. It will be far from business as usual.

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Richmond-Petersburg to become central to U.S. critical drug manufacturing and stockpile

Richmond has just become the national headquarters for a government effort to resolve a long-festering problem — American dependence on overseas supplies of life-saving medications.

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Judge rules that fewer signatures needed for mayoral candidates to get on Nov. ballot

Mayoral candidates in Richmond will need far fewer valid petition signatures to qualify for the ballot, thanks to a lawsuit one candidate filed challenging the current 500-signature requirement.

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Dr. Clinton V. Turner Sr., former Virginia commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, dies at 76

Dr. Clinton Vassett Turner Sr., the first African-American to serve as Virginia commissioner of agriculture, has died.

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City tax bills go out without amnesty details

Richmond residents have until Friday, Aug. 14, to pay city taxes on their real estate and vehicles without being hit with a penalty and interest for late payment under a recently approved ordinance.

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New type of renter’s insurance covers security deposit

When it comes to renting an apartment, one problem people face is the big outlay.

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COVID-19 info or campaigning?

Did 9th District Councilman Michael J. Jones misinform City Council in seeking permission to use city funds to send a direct mail card to his constituents?

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City Council waives tax penalties

Richmond residents and businesses will have until Friday, Aug. 14, to pay their 2020 city tax bills on real estate and on vehicles and other personal property without incurring an additional penalty or interest charge.

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City employee dies of the coronavirus

A veteran social worker is the first City of Richmond employee to succumb to the coronavirus. Twelve others among the city’s 4,000 employees have tested positive for the virus.

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GRTC provides more protective gear to drivers

It took nearly two months, but GRTC is ramping up virus protection for drivers who have kept the public transit system rolling during the pandemic.

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Public housing residents sheltered, temporarily, from eviction

Will there be a flood of eviction cases next month?

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City may be facing deficit in current 2019-20 budget

Three months ago, with the city’s economy booming, Richmond’s government projected an $8.5 million surplus when the current fiscal year ends June 30. But today, the city appears to be facing a $6.2 million deficit, according to the latest data for the 2019-20 fiscal year, after the coronavirus sent the local economy — and that of the state, the

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Daily Planet, CAHN and CrossOver clinics provide COVID-19 testing

As the coronavirus arrived in Richmond, the nonprofit Daily Planet Health Services in Downtown was among the quickest to set up a testing operation for its mostly low-income and homeless patients.

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Judge approves settlement dropping witness requirement in June 23 primary

As anticipated, a federal judge has approved a settlement that will allow voters to cast mail-in ballots without a witness signature for the June 23 primary elections. The ruling doesn’t apply to local elections taking place on Tuesday, May 19.

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City Council clears way for $38.5M cut to 2020-21 budget

City Council is backing Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s proposal to cut $38.5 million from his initial budget plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year that begins July 1, even as some members aren’t sure it’s enough.

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Hopewell man still waiting for Islamic center's collection to benefit his injured wife

After his wife was shot and nearly killed in their Hopewell home, Iftikhar H. Saiyed was grateful when the Tri Cities Islamic Center in Chester took up a collection from worshippers to benefit the family during her recovery. But nearly four years later, Mr. Saiyed said he is still waiting to receive the money that members raised.

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Nothing stops 80-year-old from taking her birthday bridge walk

When her 80th birthday arrived, Corrine V. “Coco” Mc- Claine was bound and determined not to let the coronavirus stop her from capping the celebration with her traditional practice — a walk across the Lee Bridge in Downtown.

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Revival linked to COVID-19

Deaths of 6 Metro Revival attendees may be connected to the coronavirus

A three-night revival in early March that brought more than 1,200 people from across the Richmond area to Cedar Street Baptist Church of God in Church Hill each evening appears to have helped spread the coronavirus in the African-American community.

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RRHA submits revised annual plan to HUD; details not public

Seven months after getting a rejection letter, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority has submitted changes to its 2020 annual plan in a bid to win approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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State education official disputes findings of state inspector general

Virginia Inspector General Michael C. Westfall has reported that a top official in the state Department of Education set up a private consulting business that used resources developed through her state job and tweeted an announcement after setting up two websites to advertise her business.

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Federal unemployment checks ease money worries for newly laid off during pandemic

Just a few weeks ago, journalist-turned-bartender and server Lyndon German was feeling desperate. In the past year, the 26-year-old Mechanicsville native has seen his reporter jobs in Hopewell and Petersburg end as a result of newsroom cutbacks, and now his restaurant job in a popular local café has disappeared as a result of COVID-19.

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Witness signature dropped for absentee ballots during pandemic

Absentee voters who receive their ballots by mail likely will not need to have a witness present when they cast their vote at home in Virginia’s June 23 primary election to choose candidates to run for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Tuesday that he agrees with a federal lawsuit seeking the temporary suspen- sion of the state’s current requirement that voters casting mail-in ballots have someone present as they open the letter containing

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City to step up housing aid with $4.3M in federal funding

Mayor Levar M. Stoney announced Tuesday that Richmond will use an infusion of federal cash and city funds to pour $5.8 million into emergency housing for homeless people, the creation of more housing and services to those at risk of eviction when courts resume action on cases, possibly on Monday, May 18.

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Waiver of penalties and interest on late real estate and vehicle taxes in works

Richmonders are being promised some relief as they face a Friday, June 5, deadline for paying city taxes on real estate and vehicles.

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Richmond Convention Center not needed for auxiliary pandemic hospital

The plan to convert the Greater Richmond Convention Center into an emergency hospital for COVID-19 patients has been sidelined for now, according to Dr. Danny Avula, director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health districts.

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Noted reggae musician Drummie Zeb returns to his Richmond roots

Inspired by the vibrations from the marching bands at the Richmond Christmas Parade, 10-year-old Ernest Myron Williams begged his mother for a set of drums. She scrimped and saved to provide one.

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Plasma from recovered patients may hold cure for others

If you have recovered from COVID-19, the antibodies you developed could help save someone who is struggling to survive.

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Overall crime down in Richmond during pandemic

One silver lining during this pandemic is a reduction in crime, according to Richmond Police Chief Will Smith.

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Rev. Frank Lomax Jr., minister of stewardship at Quioccasin Baptist Church, dies at 89

The Rev. Frank Lomax Jr. spent his working life as an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service. But after retiring, he found his way into the ministry.

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Telehealth grows during pandemic as safe way to confer with health professionals

Richmonder Melissa Hanson survived a vicious assault, but she still lives with the physical damage, mental scars and post-traumatic stress disorder. Like many people needing mental health therapy, Ms. Hanson found the pandemic disrupted her ability to meet with her caseworker three times a week and to get help with errands such as grocery shopping.

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City voter registrar’s office may be moving to North Side

The headquarters for voting in Richmond soon could move out of City Hall.

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COVID-19 testing to begin in high-risk areas of city

The Richmond City Health District plans to ramp up testing for coronavirus in neighborhoods that appear to be the most at risk — low-income areas of the city that are home to many African-Americans.

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GRTC subsidy in question

Instead of a route number, GRTC is now sending a message on its bus displays urging people to avoid riding unless the trip is necessary to get to work, a grocery store or to health care. The purpose: To help prevent the spread of coronavirus by reducing the number of people joy riding on buses now that fares have been eliminated.

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A bishop till the end

New Deliverance’s Gerald O. Glenn dies of COVID-19

Bishop Gerald Otis Glenn vowed to keep his Chesterfield County church open during the coronavirus pandemic “un- less I am in jail or in the hospital.” Just three weeks later, the respected leader of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church joined the list of people who died from the coronavirus.

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City Council raises percentage of vehicle taxes residents must pay

As people struggle to pay their bills amid the pandemic, City Council has quietly approved a 1 percent increase in the tax that owners of vehicles garaged in Richmond must pay by Friday, June 5.

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City budget amendments reflect reduced revenue anticipated from pandemic impact

Richmond residents would not see any hikes in utility rates that would have added $5.56 a month to the average bill beginning July 1.

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Washington NFL team drops its $500,000 annual fee to train in Richmond

It is still up in the air whether the Washington NFL football team will hold its annual summer training camp in Richmond or whether there will even be a football season, given the coronavirus pandemic.

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City Council readies for lower revenue projections

Ninth District Councilman Michael J. Jones, chair of City Council’s Finance and Economic Development Committee, esti- mates that projected Richmond revenues in the new fiscal year that will begin July 1 could shrink by $75 million to $100 million as a result of the coronavirus.

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City Council slated to vote April 9 on remote meetings

City Council is to take its final step Thursday, April 9, to enable online meetings that would include a method to allow the public to submit comments.

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Robert W. “Bob” Peay, longtime social work educator, dies at 75

Robert W. “Bob” Peay helped train two generations of social workers in the Richmond area and beyond during his 27 years as a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work.